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Joanna “Champion” Talks UFC 211

Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her strawweight title at UFC 211 against Jessica Andrade.

Jedrzejczyk recently appeared on “Submission Radio” to discuss Andrade and more:

If Jessica is on her level and how she compares to Claudia and Valerie

“Definitely, Jessica is a challenge. Every fight is a bigger challenge to me, every opponent is a big challenge to me. So the thing is like, every fight is more and more difficult, there is like more and more pressure. I cannot say that I feel more stress with every title defence, that I feel more pressure about that, but honestly, there is more pressure because people expect more from me. I’m happy and I’m super lucky what I have done for myself, what I have done for this sport. It’s going to be my fifth title defence. There is not so many female champions or even male champions who have done so much, so many title defences. So I’m very happy to do this one more time, and I’m trying to just learn new things, change my game and be even more tough with every fight. So definitely Jessica is a challenge. Like, every opponent is different. Like, okay, she’s going to be an underdog in this fight, but I think when you get this title shot, when you get the challenger position, you actually get like a hundred percent more power, more energy, you know, more everything to go for it. She has nothing to lose, just go there and fight. I have definitely more to lose, but that’s why I’m focused on my training more and more.

On Joanna believing Jessica’s comments about her chin being weak where driven by her former manager or someone else

“Yeah, this is not nice. Like, I’ve known Jessica for a while, I’ve known Tiago (Okamura) for a while. I know that Jessica doesn’t speak English so well and so I know there is someone behind her back, posting everything and talking this and that. So probably it’s Tiago. You know, we used to be like good friends, like a brother and sister, so I don’t understand them. This is what I said before – when you get the title shot, when you get the chance to fight and when you have a chance to get bigger exposure, don’t go crazy, be yourself. Like, be humble and work hard and get there. So that’s the thing, now she’s talking this and that, but I’m focused on our fight. If you’re saying that my chin is weak, try to knock me out. About the fight with Karolina – she hit me to the nose and I was like, I was throwing some punches and kicks and she came with the big right hand to my nose so I was like out of balance. Of course she dropped me for a little bit, but she didn’t touch my chin. So this is what happened. And in the fight with Gadelha, the same thing. They’re sometimes hard punches. When you throw the combination, you can be out of balance and it can drop you. But definitely my chin is still okay and I don’t worry about that.”

If Joanna and Jessica are on good terms despite Jessica’s comments

“Yes. I will not go crazy with her, I will not say like creepy stuff to her. But the thing is, like I said, people get crazy sometimes and they think when they’re gonna talk more, they’re gonna get more exposure. Maybe they will, but let’s talk in the octagon on the day of the fight on March 13th in Dallas.”

On having the opportunity to tie Ronda Rousey for the most female title wins

“Of course I would like to. I want to keep on defending my title, so I’m looking forward. It’s going to be my fifth title defence. I hope that I will fight one or two more times this year after the fight with Jessica. So definitely I want to break this record. But of course, I like Ronda Rousey and I have so much respect for her. So yeah, definitely, why not? It’s challenging.”

If Joanna thought taking over as the dominant UFC champ from Ronda Rousey would happen so soon

“Oh no, no, no. I couldn’t believe that happened. But it’s a fight, it’s a real fight. So it’s a difficult business, you know? (laughs) But I’m very happy. I’m trying to stay humble. Of course, there is more media attention on me and definitely more eyes on me, but I’m trying to deal with it and stay the same person. Of course sometimes you must say something more hard, more loud and people will change your words, but the thing is that I know what I’m doing and I’m trying to be the best version of myself every day – not just the best fighter every single day, but better person every day. I’m humble, I’m trying to work hard and I’m trying to not get crazy with all those media and the attention and trying to do my job in the gym first.”

If Joanna thinks about the opportunity to become a dual-weight champion when the UFC opens up a women’s 125-pound division

“Yeah, I used to think about that a lot. If UFC is going to open the new division, 125, definitely I would like to fight in this division as well. But since I’ve been working with Perfecting Athletes, who have been taking care of my diet, I feel great. I don’t know, I make my weight easy. I even gain some weight after every fight, but the thing is, I feel healthy. After the fights I like to weigh a little bit more. I feel better. My fiancé loves that even more than I do (laughs). But the thing is like, before, I was talking more about 125 division because I used to compete in 125 division when I was competing in Muay Thai or at the beginning of my MMA fighting career. But the thing is, I had some problems with the weight cut. Of course, I never missed the weight, but I know how hard it was for my body. But now, like I said, the best people are taking care of my health, of my body and I feel good with that, and definitely if they are going to open a 125 division I will jump between 115 and 125. So maybe one day I will become a champion in 125 and I will keep on defending titles.”

On wanting to be the #1 pound-for-pound fighter and what she has to do in order to achieve that

“I cannot just go there and show my striking because I’m good in that. I must show people that I’m changing, that I’m still learning and even though I’m still a champion, I’m not trying to stick to the same things. I must show to people that I’m the best deal in the business. So even though I’m a female fighter, I’m happy that we are getting more and more exposure. Now it’s crazy everywhere. So definitely I see myself at like top five, top three, even the first place one day in the pound-for-pound rankings.”

If Joanna wants to stick around longer to beat the male title defence record of 10

“I will see. Last year – you know what, I love my family so much, so people don’t understand how much I have done for my fighting career – because like I said at the begging of the interview, that I left my fiancé and my family and my friends back in Poland. I was home last time for just for ten days and I spent seven days in Warsaw doing some media and I was back home just like for three, four days. So the thing is, I’m very happy that I have my family. They support me and they know what I went through for so many years. And the thing is like, last year I said that I will fight just till the end of 2017, but with the new team, with the new people, I feel like I can fight and challenge myself and learn for the next two, three, four, five years. So I don’t know if I will fight for the next two, three, four, five years or after two, three, four fights I will say, “okay, that’s enough, I’m very happy”. Like I said, if I finish with fighting, I don’t know, next week, next month, next year, I will be very happy. But I cannot see myself as a free person, you know, because the fighting world, the sport is all my life. So I don’t know. It’s definitely difficult. It’s going to be a very difficult decision but I don’t know, I don’t know. I will see.”

“You will get more, you will get more (of me). I have a plan for this year. So I really am happy that I will face Jessica Andrade at UFC 211. This card is sick. This card got so amazing. So many good fights. Half of the card is like ATT people (laughs) so it’s even better to all of us. But definitely then I would like to fight in the middle of summer, maybe July, August.”

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